Like every October, the NC State Fair has come to Raleigh and that means only one thing for the Carolina Hurricanes, deep fried Snickers bars road trip!* The Canes headed up to Beantown yesterday afternoon to prepare for tonight’s matchup with the Boston Bruins. The two squads recently faced each other in a nail-biter in Raleigh on October 12th with the Canes coming out on top 3-2 clenching their first win of the season.
Bruins center David Krejci is back skating in the wake of his “body injury” (thank you Claude Julien for that enlightening description) suffered in practice on the 11th, but he is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game. Adam McQuaid, one of the B’s blueliners, is listed as a game-time decision after sustaining a neck injury in the last matchup of these teams. Steven Kampfer is on Boston’s injured reserve with a sprained MCL.
The only known injured Hurricane at this time is forward Zac Dalpe, who had to leave Friday night’s game against the Sabres with a lower body concern. He did not return and is listed as day to day. Short a forward, the Canes have called up the newly minted captain of the Charlotte Checkers, Brett Sutter, to fill Dalpe‘s skates. While there was earlier speculation about who would be called up, I am guessing the physicality of Sutter’s game played a part in deciding he was the one for the job. For those trying to keep their Sutters straight, Brett wears #42 when playing for the Canes.
The Canes (2-2-1) will be heading into TD Garden with last Friday’s emotional 4-3 victory over Buffalo under their belts. The Bruins (2-3-0) are coming off Saturday’s 3-2 shootout victory against the Blackhawks.
Fans are hoping the break and return to Raleigh provided some much-needed rest, but did not kill momentum. Especially since the team chemistry seems to be finally coming together. Brett Sutter will be filling in for Dalpe on the 4th line with Tim Brent and Anthony Stewart. Per Chuck Kaiton, on XM Home Ice this afternoon, we will be seeing the “Finns and Skinns” line back together tonight. I love the Jokinen/Ruutu/Skinner combination and am anxious to watch them again.
What do the Canes need to do to win this game? Stay out of the box! Although the Caniac faithful tweeted this many times during Friday’s contest, the players were not psychically intercepting our internet messages. The Hurricanes, while not leading the league in infractions this season, have taken their share of “bad penalties” including two bench minors in a single game for too many men on the ice. The players have got to be more disciplined and bench minors are avoidable calls that can have costly consequences. The Canes also need to keep up the good work being done by special teams and continue to improve on the power play and penalty kill. Let’s hope we can keep moving in the right direction with these units.
Who will I be watching during the game? I will have my eye on Tyler Seguin. The 19 year old Bruins’ forward is fast and fearless. He currently leads their team in points and assists followed by Brad Marchand. This sneaky duo is one that the defense really needs to keep their eyes on.
The forward lines for tonight look to be:
Defensive pairings are:
Cam Ward will square off against Boston backup Tuuka Rask. The game is at 7pm so you have plenty of time this afternoon to don your gear, get fired up and practice any of your pregame rituals before settling in front of the TV! Let’s extend the streak to three games. Let’s Go Canes!
* For those fans not lucky enough to be in the Triangle area, the RBC Center is located in a complex across the street from the fairgrounds. Aside from general traffic chaos, the venue is used for fair parking so the Canes travel every October.
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Topics: Adam McQuaid, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Anthony Stewart, Bench Penalities, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Brandon Sutter, Brett Sutter, Chad LaRose, Charlotte Checkers, Chicago Blackhawks, Chuck Kaiton, Claude Julien, Eric Staal, Jamie McBain, Jay Harrison, Jeff Skinner, Jiri Tlusty, Jussi Jokinen, Penalities, Steve Kampfer, Tim Brent, Tim Gleason, Tomas Kaberle, Tuomo Ruutu, Tyler Seguin, Zac Dalpe